Manchester Evening News: Haydn McCullen on two huge weeks
Article posted: 25 October 2018
Sale golfer Haydn McCullen, 22, is attached to Delamere Forest and plays on the EuroPro Tour. He started the Tour Championship in Spain yesterday and plays at the Second Stage of Qualifying School in Madrid next week.
It feels like a while since the First Stage of Qualifying School last month but I’ve been busy and have got two great weeks to look forward to now.
I’m 25th on the EuroPro Tour Order of Merit so I was coming into this week, knowing I need to win it really to get one of the top five spots and get a Challenge Tour card. The attitude was always to just play as well as I can and see where that takes me.
After this I come home and then head to Madrid and Second Stage of Qualifying School. With the EuroPro and Q School, it feels like I’ve got two chances at it and next week I’ll aim to be just like First Stage, play steady and not give any big scores away.
I’ve never played the course before but I’ll have two practice rounds and I’ll be ready. I’ve got my dad on the bag like I have done a few times this year, including First Stage. When I was younger we used to disagree a bit when he caddied for me but it’ll be really good to have him with me again and I really appreciate his support.
My game is steady, I feel like I’m hitting it straight and not making errors. I just need to keep doing that.
A couple of weeks back I was over in Turkey for the Beko Pro-Am and played alright but I’ve really just been practicing and playing games with my mates, which is good.
We play for a tenner and because I’m the best I’m expected to win. It does apply that little bit of pressure which is a good thing – although I do win most of the time! I hit balls at Didsbury last week I played there and Swinton Park with my mates. If I’m on my own I’ll go and play Delamere.
I was lucky enough to spend some time with Matt Wallace – who has won three times on the European Tour this year – at the British Masters. He’s with ISM too and my manager Chubby Chandler arranged for me to shadow him on the Tuesday and Wednesday.
It was really good to see how intense his practice is and the way he goes about preparing for a tournament, how much effort and care he takes on every single shot. Even if it’s the second ball he’s hitting into a par three or dropping a ball for another chip he puts 110% and his attitude was so positive.
I learnt a lot, even seeing his discussions with his coaches. I was asking him how he manages his time now that he’s got a lot more commitments with media and his sponsors. If I can go about my preparations a bit like he does, I know I’m doing it properly.